Laminate flooring s a floor covering made of several layers of material and has been a popular choice among homeowners for a long time. It consists of a clear top layer that provided resistance to stains and fading. Underneath this is a high-resolution photographic image that realistically captures the look and appearance of wood. This flooring option was originally created as an affordable alternative to hardwood in the 1970s. Arguably its biggest appeal is the fact that laminate takes on the appearance of wood without the high price tag that comes with hardwood flooring.  Back then, laminate still has had kind of a plastic look to it, but with today’s advanced printing methods, it has become hard to tell the difference between real wood and laminate flooring. Although laminate can a be confused with vinyl flooring also, it differs drastically. For one, laminate does not attach to the subfloor. Instead, a foam underlayment is present between the subfloor and the layer of laminate.

The Benefits of Laminate

Laminate flooring is one of the most durable and long lasting options on today’s market.  Most of the manufacturers out there will offer a warranty for anywhere between 15-30 years. It’s available in a wide selection of designs too, so finding one that fits in with your home’s particular decor shouldn’t be too hard to do.

Laminate flooring is easy to install.  The pieces come as planks, or tiles, with edges that can be snapped together for easy installation. This type of flooring can be installed over just about any surface like concrete, wood, plywood, OSB, or vinyl flooring.

Laminate is also very easy to clean. A damp mop, vacuum, or broom can all suffice. Best of all, there’s no waxing required for your laminate to keep its look. This type of flooring is also ideal for moist areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. As long as installation has been done correctly, your laminate flooring shouldn’t run the risk of damage from moisture.

Laminate doesn’t run the risk of getting dented and scratched by sharp edges from your furniture of high heel shoes either, one of the primary reasons why homeowners install this in areas with high traffic.

Cons of Laminate Flooring

Since laminate flooring isn’t real wood, you can’t decide to sand and stain it at a later time to achieve a new look. If you ever want a new look,  you would be required to remove the old laminate totally and redo the installation.  Some people may also have an aversion to laminate due to the fact that it looks like wood but it isn’t. This could inevitably affect the resale value of your home.

Should your flooring not be installed professionally, the laminate can be susceptible to moisture damage. When exposed to standing water, it will start to break down and expand. Once damaged, you’ll have to replace it because laminate is hard to repair or patch.

The plastic layer contained in laminate flooring doesn’t degrade in landfills, making this product less environmentally friendly.

How Much Does Laminate Flooring Cost?

Laminate flooring installation costs can vary based on a number of factors, including some of the following:

  1. The size of the area you wish to cover.
  2. The type of flooring material you choose.
  3. Whether or not you need to replace or repair any of your sub-flooring.
  4. The type of trim work you wish to use for the borders of the room.
  5. Where you live and the availability of local laminate flooring installation contractors.

Generally speaking, the cost to install laminate flooring could come in anywhere between $550 all the way up to as much as $6500. The only way to figure out how much your product is going to cost is by requesting quotes from local contractors. By comparing estimates you will be able to discuss all your options as well as get a better understanding of the current pricing trends in your area.